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Sister Of Darkness Rachel Stavis On Her Calling, Work & Projects

“Spirit loves you, has always and will always love you, and you are perfect exactly as you are.”

The above quote is by bisexual, world renowned, LGBTQ+ positive exorcist Rachel Stavis. Additionally, Stavis is unique in being the only known female and secular or non-denominational exorcist. These were attributes I had never before thought might describe an actual person. A character in a graphic novel or work of fiction though? Why not? Anything is possible in stories. Her life and work piqued the interest of this former Southern Baptist in my decades old apostasy. What is exorcism when stripped of its various religious and cultural backgrounds I wondered and I soon began to discover while listening to a Moby podcast and the audiobook version of her memoir.

Before reading the interview the following excerpt from Stavis’ bio provides some background.

“Known as Hollywood’s best kept secret – serving rock icons, Oscar winners and many more – she cleanses the darkness that consumes even the most elite. Her best-selling memoir, “Sister of Darkness: The Chronicles of a Modern Exorcist” (HarperCollins), examines how she became who she is, and how she helps the infected and tortured souls through exorcism. She explores how pain and trauma open us to attachment from forces that not only drain our energy but can even destroy our humanity. “Sister of Darkness’ is now currently in development for a scripted series adaptation at FX with renowned director, actress and producer Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”, “King of the Hill”, “Californication”) signed on to co-write and executive produce.

Stavis has been featured in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, The Daily Mail, Refinery29, and “Host”, to name a few. In 2021, she hosted the Tubi Reality special, “Celebrity Exorcism” featuring Shar Jackson, Metta World Peace and Jodi Sweetin. During the special, she helped the guest stars elevate their own unique spiritual abilities, and ended the show by exorcizing the renowned Rosenheim Mansion (a.k.a., the “Murder House” featured in FX’s hit television show, “American Horror Story”)”

While this interview is a bit outside the norm for Gay League I promise you that comics are discussed and we hope you find Stavis’ insights and experiences interesting!

Gay League: Hello, Rachel! It’s a pleasure to meet you! How are you today?

Rachel Stavis: So good thank you!

GL: Thank you for doing this interview, especially since we’re doing it old school style via email. My track record with phone interviews is fifty-fifty as it is and I didn’t want to risk messing it up myself. Then I listened to the podcast episode you did with Moby and Lindsay where something odd happened and I felt a little better about going this route. [Readers can listen to the podcast episode on Youtube.]

RS: Honestly, electronics and I don’t always mix, ha!

GL: So, our interview is a bit different from my perspective since the people I typically interview create comics and graphic novels. I know you spent some time writing for a few major IPs in your past, which I’d love to get into later, before moving on to new ventures. Your memoir “Sister Of Darkness: The Chronicles Of A Modern Exorcist” is currently in development for a scripted series and details your work as a modern day exorcist. Before diving into that, would you please give readers an introduction?

RS: Of course! I’ve been able to see entities (what people mostly call “demons”) since I can remember. For a long time I tried to ignore it and be “normal”. I became a writer and lived like everyone else does, but at one point in my life, it became more difficult to ignore. It was then I learned to open up this gift instead of shut it down. I started working on people, and it became my life’s work. Others found out, and years later came SISTER OF DARKNESS. And yes, we are working on bringing it to life now!

GL: Do you have any especially extreme or memorable experiences you’re able to share without breaking any confidentiality agreements?

RS: Some of my most challenging cases are actually spaces. Places of mass trauma can be magnets energetically to all sorts of darkness. I’ve worked in entity-held hotels, restaurants, amphitheaters, movie theaters, you name it! You might’ve been in some of those places without ever knowing!

GL: You live in Los Angeles, where I imagine the people you encounter daily are largely more receptive to a great many ideas. How often do you run into skeptics in your daily life and how do you respond to the non-believers? What would you like to say to anyone rolling their eyes while reading our interview?

RS: I don’t say much! It’s okay for people not to believe me. It’s not my job to convince anyone, or even try. My work continues no matter what people believe. But skeptics are some of the most susceptible (sorry!), because entities love when people refuse to believe. Easier to feed, easier to stay, since they won’t do anything about it.

GL: You’ve written a graphic novel with Steve Niles, stories for Tomb Raider and Transformers, several horror novels, and written and directed for television, film, and games. While listening to your audiobook memoir, I picked up on something you mentioned from chapter two I believe. The line was “All the fiction was born from what I’d seen.” How pivotal was this period of writing for you in the process of letting go and accepting Spirit into your life?

RS: I think it was incredibly important, honestly. Writing horror specifically helped me deal with my reality. Trying to make sense of what I could see and feel. I was essentially always living in a version of a horror story, and when I finally acknowledged that fully, I could accept all the good that I was trying to stifle. And I’d always wanted to work in comics, because I loved them growing up. I would read books like The Maxx, and I would be shocked at how close that seemed in a sense to what I was experiencing – this other world that existed beneath ours that didn’t seem real.

GL: It’s fair to say most people view the idea of exorcism as being associated with religion, specifically Christianity, though the concept exists in other religious traditions in some fashion. Personally, the association is an easy one for me since as a child I was required to attend a Southern Baptist church for eight or nine years. A good chunk of my own protracted coming out process happened during this period and I lived with a persistent fear of being discovered and demonized. Your approach is a non denominational one and you are also bisexual which leads me to wonder what your thoughts are on how religion over time, but particularly in the last eight or so years, has used tools and methods such as “exorcism” against people in the queer community.

RS: I absolutely hate it. I hate that for you and for everyone else living in this kind of fear. Spirit loves everyone, this I know to be true. But religion is obviously very different, and weaponizes God against anyone who threatens a leadership’s control. It’s a long standing dynamic that harms people. Spirit, and God if you’d rather, sees you as you are, and as long as you are being kind – to yourself as well! – you’re perfect. No one needs an exorcism simply for being queer.

GL: On a related note, there are historical precedents of Western colonialism and religion attempting to eliminate different concepts of gender identity. That is no less true today with religious, social, and governmental elements targeting trans and non binary people. How are trans and non binary folks connected to Spirit?

RS: To all of my knowledge, trans and non binary people are THE MOST connected to Spirit – quite opposite from the narrative these religious bigots keep pushing.

These are the few of us who are connected to all past lives, to their direct souls, and recognize instantly when something bodily doesn’t feel correct and in line with their own spirits. Many cultures – the ones who have been very in tune with Spirit/God/High Beings for hundreds of years – have often revered trans and non binary people as those with the most spiritual gifts and knowledge.

GL: Quite a few years ago, I was in a difficult place in life and saw a therapist. She told me a proverb that has stuck with me ever since. The gist of it is that the Devil’s greatest accomplishment was tricking people into thinking they are separate from God or their version of a higher power. Your bio material mentions you having a direct link to Spirit, which I find to be interesting and would like to know more about.

RS: That’s exactly true. When we all come in as children, we come in with many birth rights, including having that link with Spirit. But as we grow older, we learn that that’s not real, or worthy of having. So people become disconnected, closed off, and suffer a lot because of this, honestly. I had to allow all of Spirit in – I couldn’t have continued going as shut down as I was. And now I work with people who want to “unlearn” that damaging information they took on as fact. And when people start opening up, it’s incredible to see!

GL: Rachel, in chapter eight you discuss another group of beings — beings of a high frequency nature — who act essentially as the opposites to these low frequency and malevolent entities. Would you talk a little about these distinct groups and their purposes? In your book you mentioned that one of these groups, or at least the two entities with whom you’re most familiar, are there to clear a path so you can walk without fear. That struck me as very comforting. The belief that ancestors are a part of our lives plays a key role in many cultures and ancestors form one of the benevolent groups of beings you’ve experienced. The idea that ancestors, at least some of them, are never far from us has spoken to me for many years. The reason it’s comforting is that it resonates with / reinforces an understanding of something that happened in my life. In my late thirties I was very sick and in the hospital. Early one afternoon I swore my my maternal grandpa, who had died a decade before, appeared sitting in the chair a few feet away from my bed to let me know he was watching over me. It struck me as odd because he and I had never been close.

RS: Absolutely yes! Ancestors, spirit guides, Master Teachers – all are around you often. Ancestors may be the closest, but one level up from that are guides, and then the Masters are slightly more removed (but they’re incredibly powerful, which would probably make most people uncomfortable to feel often). The thing about High Beings, though, is that you have to ask for their help when you need it (even if, in your case, it may not have been a conscious ask), because they respect your free will! So if you need them, don’t be afraid to ask!

GL: From a comic book, storytelling point of view there is an assortment of demons, a hierarchy from the lowliest to the highest. The most prominent example that comes to mind is the Season of Mists story in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Of course this isn’t exclusive to comics since this sort of ranking system exists in films, television, and novels as well. While “demons” don’t exactly correspond to your entities, as you call them, you have created a way to categorize the different entities that I think readers will find interesting. Can you speak on how you created this ranking system for yourself?

RS: Honestly, it started with journals. I journal all of my major cases now, but in the beginning I just kept track of entities. I kept seeing the same type of entities with people, so I created an internal language, if you will, that then went public. Starting with Clives (because they look like Clive Barker drawings to me) which are the easiest entities to pick up that act as amplifiers of negative energy all the way up to Realm Walkers (who literally walk between realms), which are maybe the closest concept to “the devil” – although there are several on the planet.

GL: Big and little things sap our energy. The car breaks down. A loved one becomes sick. A coworker steals your pen. Someone else gets a promotion. A stranger cuts in line at the checkout. If entities are attracted by low frequencies what are some techniques people can rely on to protect themselves?

RS: Be conscious. Watch how you speak to yourself, and others. Take time in nature. Do something nice for someone. Pet dogs. Sing. All of these things raise frequency, and over time, can raise your energy so much that there’s nothing low vibrational to feed on.

GL: Congratulations on your memoir being developed as a scripted series adaptation! Can you talk about how the scripted series came about?

RS: Thanks so much! I actually can’t say too much at this point, only that it’s taken years to develop and get just right – and I can’t wait for everyone to see it!

GL: I know you are most active and have the biggest followings on Instagram and TikTok @rhstavis. What kind of content or mini-series can our viewers look forward to seeing from you on socials?

RS: I love doing monthly teachings, stories, and random exorcism posts. So, for this month, it’s been mediumship 101, messages from deceased loved ones, my weirdest stories, and of course, Spirit Happy Hour, where we make cocktails for different spiritual things, like protection!

GL: Thanks so much for talking with us! Before we wrap up, are there any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to tease here?

RS: Well, currently we are bringing those unpublished journals of my scariest experiences to feature films, so…

GL: Thank you, dear readers, for your time!

The credit for Stavis’ stunning portrait belongs to Phillipe. With apologies for cropping it for use above. The uncropped version is shown below. Images provided courtesy of Scandal Co-Active.

December 4, 2023
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